New Delhi: Low-cost airline SpiceJet is all set to resume Boeing-B-737 Max aircraft from the first week of October after a two-and-a-half-year long ban.
“SpiceJet’s Max aircraft will be back in operation from October 5, 2021 when it operates its first flight after a break of around two-and-a-half years,” a SpiceJet official told ANI. Recently, India’s aviation regulator Director General of Civil of Aviation (DGCA) has given permission to restart the B-737 Max aircraft in Indian skies. The airline company has sent about 20 pilots for simulator compulsory training before resuming operations of Max airplanes.
Aviation industry sources confirmed that SpiceJet’s pilots are currently undergoing training in the NCR region.
“The first batch of 20 SpiceJet pilots are doing their training now and will complete it by September 30 this year. The training was held at the SpiceJet Training Academy in Gurugram and at the Boeing Simulator facility in Noida,” a SpiceJet official said.
Boeing has set up a ‘Full Flight Simulator’ for the 737 Max in Noida.
As per the available data with the regulators regarding the maximum number of aircraft pilots in SpiceJet, “SpiceJet had more than 350 pilots who were trained/qualified on the Max at the time when the aircraft was grounded,” the SpiceJet official said.
SpiceJet is confident about the Max aircraft operations and is likely to send more pilots for training in the coming weeks.
SpiceJet had flown around 6,300 hours on the 737 Max before the aircraft was grounded in March 2019.
SpiceJet has a total of 13 Boeing Max aircraft in its fleet.
Earlier in August, DGCA lifted its ban on Boeing 737 Max jets.
An order dated March 13, 2019 had banned all operations of B737 Max in India because of two deadly crashes reported in a span of five months.
In October 2018, the newest member of Boeing’s 737 narrow-body family- 737 Max crashed in the Java Sea shortly after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia. Then another aircraft of the same model crashed in Ethiopia in March 2019. In both these plane accidents, 346 people lost their lives. Investigations into the crashes revealed errors in the functioning of the jet”s piloting system, lapses in Boeing’s safety standard procedures and cover-ups by company officials.